Essay on Reconciliation of Opposites in Emerson's Fate

Essay on Reconciliation of Opposites in Emerson's Fate

Length: 748 words (2.1 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Reconciliation of Opposites in Emerson's Fate

Emerson's Fate is full of interesting ideas. Fate is the absence of chaos. It is rendered void by the intellect; it is the laws of the world and a name for "causes which are unpenetrated".

Emerson explains Fate through nature. "Nature magically suits the man to his fortunes" (1118). Society, slouching in its custom-made "civilization", looks down on nature and it’s cruel and nonsensical disposition. Emerson even states, "Nature is no sentimentalist…the world is rough and surly, and will not mind drowning a man or woman; but will swallow your ship like a grain of dust. The diseases, the elements, fortune, gravity, lightning, respect no persons" (1105). But Emerson pushes beyond the contradiction of "civilized society" versus "savage wilderness", and shows how the very essence of existence---the patterns of life---are displayed and enacted perfectly in nature. For example, forrest fires which scorch hundreds of acres upon acres of life, are essential in the cycle of growth. Life grows out of that devistation. Fate, then, being the idea that nothing happens by "chance" and everything in interconnected, is embodied in nature’s processes. He states, "Wonderful intricacy in the web, wonderful constancy in the design this vagabond life admits" (1120). The web is the web of life; a metaphor often associated with Native American spirituality depicting the interconnectedness of all life.

There is paradox within Emerson’s description of Fate. The first definition of Fate is that it is the "laws of the world". Laws are limits. Limits contrain freedom. To believe in Fate, then, is to sacrifice the liberty which Emerson defines as "the significance of the individual, the grandeur of d...

... middle of paper ...

...unknown and to put trust into something completly intangible. Accepting the idea of Fate has nothing to do with Christianity, but the ability to rest assured that your entire life and the rest of the universe will occur the way they are suppose to takes the same faith as confiding in any religion.

Emerson’s reaction to the cycle of knowledge versus freedom versus Fate comes through the "reconciliation of opposites". He states, "But our geometry cannot span these extreme points, and reconcile them. What to do? By obeying each thought frankly, by harping, or, if you will, pounding on each string, we learn at last its powers" (1104). What are we to do? There are two quotes from Emerson that help sooth this abbrasion: "the riddle of the age has for each a private solution" (1104); "When there is something to be done, the world knows how to get it done" (1117).


Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

The Writings Of Ralph Waldo Emerson Essay

- Ralph Waldo Emerson was a 19th century poet and philosopher, who wrote several essays and poems throughout his career(1). Emerson was born in Massachusetts and graduated from Harvard College. In 1826, he became a minister, and later in 1829 was ordained to a Unitarian church. That same year [1829] he married his wife, who died of tuberculosis just three years later. Emerson found himself in an immense state of grief and ended up stepping down from his clergy status. (1) In 1832, Emerson spent time in Europe with literary scholars, developing the ideas and notions of spirituality that are found in his compilation of essays titled Nature....   [tags: Ralph Waldo Emerson, Transcendentalism, Concord]

Better Essays
770 words (2.2 pages)

Trascendentalism and Ralph Waldo Emerson Essay

- There have been countless religious rebellions throughout history, but none quite like that of Transcendentalism. At the time of the movement’s birth, newly acquired religious freedom in the United States allowed for new ideas and beliefs to blossom freely. Ideas and beliefs that the public and government previously greeted with bitter rejection. At the heart of Transcendentalism lied its most famous ambassadors, Ralph Waldo Emerson and his apprentice, Henry David Thoreau. Although Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau shared similar views and beliefs relating to Transcendentalism, the approach each author took in writing and making the ideas that were so important concrete was not alw...   [tags: rebellion, religion, belief, Thoreau, Emerson]

Better Essays
1401 words (4 pages)

Nature Is Free By Ralph Waldo Emerson Essay

- Nature is Free In Ralph Waldo Emerson’s essay entitled Nature (1836), Emerson stresses how nature can heal our day-to-day troubles and sorrows by captivating us with all the beauty that it has to offer. In addition, Emerson explains that in order for people to find peaceful state of mind, they need to start paying closer attention to nature. He states and I quote, “the stars awaken a certain reverence, because though always present, they are inaccessible; but all natural objects make a kinder impression, when the mind is open to their influence.”(Emerson, Ch.1) Furthermore, Emerson argues that nature is harmless and humble, and that no genius can figure out how it was created in the first...   [tags: Ralph Waldo Emerson, Transcendentalism]

Better Essays
1243 words (3.6 pages)

Observations on Emerson's Self-Reliance Essay

- Observations on Self-Reliance "Nothing can bring you peace but yourself. Nothing can bring you peace but the triumph of principles ." This quotation forms the closing two lines of Ralph Waldo Emerson's "Self Reliance". I am greatly enlightened by his ideas in this article. "Trust thyself" was his advice and many Americans listened. They not only listened in Emerson's lifetime, but his individualistic concepts have reverberated up to the present time. After reading the ideas expressed in "Self-Reliance", I have come to believe that self-reliance is the most important factor in my life....   [tags: Emerson's Self Reliance Essays]

Free Essays
1503 words (4.3 pages)

Emerson's Philosophy Essay

- Emerson's Philosophy Emerson placed an emphasis on three primary aspects of life that illustrate the most crucial elements of humanity; nature, education and action. According to his theology, nature is the chief facet and because of its universal features, it arguably encompasses the remaining two tenets. Nature supports progress and action by providing physical accommodations in the form of material assets while simultaneously feeding the emotional hunger of man with inspirational beauty. His entire philosophy is embedded in the belief that an external presence shapes and influences the spiritual, intellectual, and physical elements of the individual....   [tags: Emerson Philosophy Philosophical Essays]

Better Essays
627 words (1.8 pages)

Fate Essay example

- Fate Webster defines fate as a “ a power thought to control all events and impossible to resist” “a persons destiny.” This would imply that fate has an over whelming power over the mind. This thing called fate is able to control a person and that person has no ability to change it. Its been proven time and time again that the human mind can over come any obstacle. An asset to the mind is a persons will. With the combination of a person’s mind and their will to decide their own destiny this thing called fate can be over come....   [tags: Fate Destiny Essays]

Free Essays
442 words (1.3 pages)

Reconciliation Essay

- “Can the past be forgiven. Can people who have been traumatized live with memory and each other again. What do they need to be healed?” (Marrus 27). In a world growing smaller each day, people cannot afford to hold onto the traumas and wrongs that have been committed unto them. At the same time, how can the world ask people who have been tortured, abused, systematically raped, and their lives forever changed to live with their aggressors once again. Can these people forgive their transgressors and come to a place of reconciliation....   [tags: Psychology]

Better Essays
2585 words (7.4 pages)

Reconciliation Essay

- Reconciliation is stated as “restoration of a state of peace to the relationship, where the entities are at least not harming each other, and can begin to be trusted not to do so in future, which means that revenge is foregone as an option” (Santa-Barbara, 174). This definition is a starting point in understanding reconciliation but does not address the spirit of forgiveness involved. It is important to recognize harms that others have done but it becomes necessary to portray these in a positive and understanding manner....   [tags: Relationships]

Better Essays
1685 words (4.8 pages)

Emerson Essay

- Emerson was born in Boston, Massachusetts. Emerson graduated from Harvard University at the age of 18 and for the next three years taught school in Boston. In 1825 he entered Harvard Divinity School, and the next year he was certified to preach by the Middlesex Association of Ministers. Even with ill health, Emerson delivered occasional lecture in churches in the Boston area. In 1829 he became minister of the Second Church (Unitarian) of Boston. That same year he married Ellen Tucker, who died 17 months later....   [tags: essays research papers]

Free Essays
573 words (1.6 pages)

Emerson Essay

- Emerson emphasizes over and over again that in order to gain ones own independence, one must first abandon all learned things and seek to accumulate thereafter only the knowledge which one attains firsthand and deems pertinent to be assimilated into ones own truth. "Nothing is at last sacred, but the integrity of your own mind" states Emerson, because "Nothing can bring you peace but yourself" (Emerson 203). Emerson ultimately arrives at the conclusion that one must be self aware....   [tags: essays research papers]

Free Essays
521 words (1.5 pages)